With a lot more time at home, I have been kinda glued to Instgram and social media. It appears everyone is making things like banana bread or variations of it ( I admit, we have made several loaves so far) and then there is the sourdough starter. I will proudly have made it through lockdown, I am guessing without making sourdough starter. I thought I would have wanted to but my will these days is just not there. I don’t know about you but I see a lot of blogs sharing recipes that are based on what is in your pantry. For the most part, I find these useful, but I find what is in your pantry and my pantry differs greatly. So I am just going to keep blogging and sharing recipes as they come to me. Not themed by what season it is for example Easter etc. Not everyone can pop to the shop to buy ingredients for tomorrow or the weekend or the holiday. If like me, you can only get to the shop on a certain day (once a week or every two weeks) then your fridge and pantry may be very sparce. We run out of most protein, fruit and vegetables by Friday. I cannot shop with my tiny human nor would I want to these days and I find a lot of half eaten apples and pieces of toast hidden behind sofas and on chairs as I am about to sit on them. I reuse everything these days. The apple gets cut up and popped in the fridge and the toast makes an appearance at the next meal. I decided with all the sad apple remnants hiding in my fridge that I would make mini fruit gallettes. Simply because I refuse to waste food and I have a LOT of bits of fruit sitting in a bowl in my fridge. The fundamental ingredient for gallettes or a pie turns out to be the pastry, not the filling but the pastry, who knew?
I have never been one for sweet pastry. If I made something using pastry, I always just used my go to short crust recipe whether savoury or sweet, it never mattered to me. At Christmas, I was sifting through my mum’s stash of cooking magazines (my secret love) and came across a recipe for gallettes in Bon Appétit magazine and just knew that I had to try them. For once, I followed the recipe to the tee and much to my amazement it was the BEST thing I had made in ages, and what made it the best you ask? The pastry! The pastry was fricken amazing. It was simply the best, oh so flaky and so delicious. I made it for my daughter’s birthday party, in her honour (Elena died 5 years ago and we celebrate her every year on January 1st). I have now made it 3 or 4 times in just a few months. I don’t normally eat pies or tarts all that much, I am more of a cookie and cake person but heavens this one is good. So I am sharing the pastry recipe today. It deserves a post all of its own!
FLAKY SWEET PASTRY
My photos for this are not the best I admit, trying to make this, photograph it and keep a toddler happy during lockdown is a little too much. Hopefully they will get the message across!
- 180 g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 170 g cold butter cut into sticks
- iced water
Sieve the sugar, salt, and flour together in a small bowl. Put the butter into the flour mix and toss them to coat evenly, and then tip the mixture out onto a work surface (I use a silicone matt to save on cleaning the work surface).
With a rolling pin, roll the butter into flour until it is in long strips, if the butter sticks to the rolling pin, use a scraper or sharp knife to remove it.
Gather mixture into a loose pile with a scraper or if you have a matt like me, I fold the matt inwards to collect the mixture in the centre, then drizzle over 4 tbsp of iced water.
Toss the mixture until water is mixed, then gather into a pile. Ideally rectangular-ish!
Roll the dough again into a long rectangle, then use the scraper to fold the dough from the top of the long side, into thirds, like folding a letter. At this stage, when I made this for the first time, I thought it was never going to come together. It will. It may be very crumbly right now but a few more rolls and folds and it will be fine.
Continue to roll the dough into a long strip again and then fold again (for the second time). Using a scraper to help, turn your folded dough 90° and repeat rolling and folding, gathering the loose bits of dough into the centre.
Repeat the rolling, folding and turning for a third time. The dough will look a lot smoother now with some dry loose bits around edges. Push the dry bits into the edge and if it holds together then it is done, if it still crumbles, repeat the roll and fold method one more time. End with it folded.
Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to use, flour your work surface and roll to the desired shape. Now your dough is ready to fill.
I like to make two or more batches at the same time. Saving me on time and mess later on. I pop one in the fridge and freeze the others for a later date. It is so nice to have good dough ready for use anytime!